Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule! (Part 2)

Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule! (Part 2)

In part 1 of this post I talked about ditching our daily homeschool schedule in favour of finding a daily rhythm. As promised, here is a close up of what that really looks like in my house…

First things first

Between 6 and 7am we wake up (whenever we naturally wake up – i haven’t had a clock or alarm in my room since I was a nurse).  Once we’re up and going we get ready for the day – diapers are changed, everyone gets dressed, teeth and hair is brushed, beds are made and dirty laundry gathered and taken to the laundry room.  About an hour has passed once we’ve finished all our tasks.  Then we migrate…

What I’ve found in the past with a daily homeschool schedule is that we weren’t having enough change of scenery in our days and the kids were getting a bit stir crazy.  So, we do all our mornings things in the bedroom end of the house.  We migrate to the kitchen once we are all done.  At this point Little Lou is usually content to go on my back having spent a good chunk of time exploring on the floor in the bedroom.  I put him in the tula and pull out a sensory bin for Mickey Blue (and Izzy – if he wants to join in).  They play while I make breakfast and unload the dishwasher.

*First adaptation to our new rhythm…. Izzy runs out and lets the chickens out because it takes us a little longer to get to our outdoor chores than I first anticipated.

Time to head outside

After eating, we clean up from breakfast and head outside.  As we get suited up in the laundry room which leads outside, I put on the load of dirty laundry.  We have rabbits and chickens that Izzy is learning to care for.  Mickey Blue also likes to help out – he helps carry feed and checks for eggs.  We feed the chickens, change their water and clean the poop from the coop.  Izzy feeds the rabbits, changes their water and checks on their bedding.  Every week we move the coop and run.  We spend about an hour outside, working and playing.  (It’s too cold to enjoyably play much longer right now.)

Another change of scenery

Around 10:30 or 11, we head back in.  We clean up, warm up and head to the classroom.  (In case you missed it, we just dedicated a room in our house to be Our new homeschool classroom!) Izzy and I do bible study while the younger boys play.  There’s always a lot of interruptions – which would have wreaked havoc on our daily homeschool schedule – so we spend about 45 minutes playing and learning.  Our bible program, Bible Study Guide For All Ages (review coming soon….), works well with all the interruptions.  Once we complete our lesson we clean up the toys (unless Mickey is getting squirrely – then Izzy does it or we return to it after lunch).

The pack divides

Izzy moves onto independent work – 15 or more minutes of independent reading of his choice & a lesson in math.  We use Math-U-See – there’s a video introduction at the start of each new lesson that we watch together, then Izzy can compete the lessons by himself.  He knows I am available to him during this time; he just needs to bring his work to me.  I make lunch, Luke goes back in the tula and usually naps now, and Mickey has free time in the living room (scenery change!) or with a sensory bin in the kitchen.  

Lunch time

Once lunch is ready we reconvene and eat together at the table.  We also read our weekly poetry which we use for copy work or dictation.  Mondays we read the poem.  Tuesday and Wednesday we use it for dictation. Thursday and Friday Izzy does copy work.

Afternoon (literally…)

Afternoons are still a little more fuzzy.  

Mondays we play outside (weather permitting), start dinner, put away any laundry, spot clean any hot spots in the house, and head out for music lessons at 4pm.

Tuesday afternoons are for Nature Walks – see my blog post about our Winter Nature Study. Izzy has music lessons again on Tuesdays so we stick close to home for our nature walk.  Then afternoon chores and dinner prep.

Wednesdays are visiting days when we have some standing playdates or family visits at our place.  

Thursdays we go for a Nature Walk further from home (requires a car ride). Our goal this year is to explore new parks and paths in our community.  

Fridays are like Mondays but we have no music lessons – Izzy and dad go swimming in the evening instead.

And that, in a large nutshell, is our new rhythm.  So far it is working really well for us.  What about you?   Or does a daily homeschool schedule work better for you?

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Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule!!

Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule!!

Do you love schedules?  Me too! Do you have a daily homeschool schedule?  I have found them to be the worst thing for my homeschooling, especially with toddlers and babies around.  With a little one, it only takes an unexpected diaper change to throw off your delicate plans.  Or a missing bottle to eliminate one item on the agenda.  OR….you get the picture.

For years I have battled with our daily homeschool schedule.  Every summer I find myself thinking, if I could just find the right schedule, l’m sure I could make it work.  And every September, I set out, like a new kindergartener, excited for the journey ahead, new schedule in hand……only to find that by October things are starting to slip below my expectations.  

I want my kids to have an exceptional education – I want them to love learning, I want our activities to be very hands on, and I want to explore their interests and not just follow a check list of age appropriate subjects.  But, when I schedule things, my day tends to become focussed on checking off the list.  

Enter Sergeant Homeschool…..

Commando mom usually starts to rear her loud and commanding voice and bark orders to the kids.  Get it done.  Finish that up.  Start the next thing.  Hurry, hurry, hurry.  And I hate it.  And THEY hate it.  School becomes a task, not an experience.  Our relationship becomes strained and unenjoyable.

So, this summer, as I sat pondering my perfect schedule, I took into account my 8 years of homeschooling experience and made 2 major changes.  I stepped away from the pressure of a curriculum and I stepped away from having a daily homeschool schedule.  Now, these things themselves aren’t inherently bad, so if you use them and they work for you – Awesome! Don’t ditch them.  They just aren’t working well for me.

This summer I spent a lot of time reflecting and praying on what changes I needed to  make in our home.  Because I’m currently only homeschooling my 8 year old (our 17 year old is in an awesome alternative program, and the toddler is still enjoying free play and exploration) my focus is back to the basics;  Reading, w(R)iting, and (a)Arithmetic – the 3 R’s.  

The foundation of our homeschooling….

(Replacing our daily homeschool schedule)

I do believe these skills are foundational for our kids to be able to survive and thrive in our current culture.  Also, I want my home to be a place of peacefulness (despite the high energy and loud atmosphere that encompasses these humans that I love so dearly).  

A couple of years ago, I was blessed to hear Bonnie Landry (@ Practicing Mammal) speak about her homeschooling methods.  What stuck with me the most was how she took time each day to sit with each of her 8 children, put her arm around them, and work with them one on one.  This is what I want.  I time of personal connection with each of my children daily.  Where we can be in each others company, loving and learning without stress and without pressure.

I also love Charlotte Mason style learning.  If you’re new to homeschooling or don’t know much about Charlotte Mason and her theories on learning Simply Charlotte Mason is a great website to learn more.  

The 3 major things that I’ve taken from this style of educating a child are: 

  1. Teaching with focussed attention for up to 15 minutes (for younger students) and then moving onto something else.
  2. Spending more time outdoors and studying nature.
  3. Helping my children to form good habits.

On a daily basis, Ms. Mason felt that children should have 3 things…..

Every day, a child needs something (or someone) to love, something to do, & something to… Click To Tweet

Implementing the new….without a schedule

So, rather than plunk on these wonderful knew ideas into time chunks create a daily homeschool schedule, I’ve focussed on finding our daily rhythm.  To be honest, we haven’t had one since we moved over 3 years ago.  There’s been so much change in our household with learning a new community, settling into a new place, having 2 school aged children for the first time and then adding 2 babies 21 months apart.  I lost my way.

But now, I feel like I’ve finally conquered our new normal and found our rhythm.  I still have things that I need to do every day, just like you!  But how they get done is more balanced.  We move from place to place and from one activity to the next as it fits with each day.  There is a lot less stress and the kids are happier.  It’s not perfected yet and I know it will be constantly shifting as the kids grow but that’s okay.

But what does this really look like?

If you’re like me, you probably want the nitty gritty details incase this might work for you.  Stay tuned for part 2 of this post…. to make sure you don’t miss it, consider subscribing below and receiving all my new posts right in your inbox.   

Winter nature study – A lesson on trees

Winter nature study – A lesson on trees

 It is officially the New Year and we are back to “school”.  One of the things that I wanted to incorporate more in this year was nature study. Given the season, we are starting with a winter nature study!  I love nature and the idea of studying it, but honestly, it intimidates me.  There is so much to know, and I feel like I know so little of it.  

I was really lucky to get my hands on 4 awesome Charlotte Mason style nature study guides (one for each season) during a Currclick special several years ago.  (For more information on Charlotte Mason and why you would want to  use her teaching methods visit Simply Charlotte Mason.)  Since then, they have been sitting, beautifully bound, on a book shelf collecting dust.  Well, no more!  This is the year we are going to really use them….

A Letter to Every Mother…..

A Letter to Every Mother…..

To every mother out there,

I may not know you.  I don’t know your background or your history.  And I don’t know your family.  But, as a mother, there are a few things that I do know…

Clear clutter in 5 easy steps for a more peaceful Christmas.

Clear clutter in 5 easy steps for a more peaceful Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but somehow my home always seems to gather several “hot spots” where things collect.  I’m not really sure how they get there, or where some of the stuff even comes from, but it’s there alright.  the island counter is one of the worst areas in our home.  But in 5 easy steps I was able to take it from Clutter Chaos to Breathtaking Beauty.  And you can too!

My long island counter used to divide the area between my kitchen and dining room.  Recently, we moved it so that it runs under the window in our dining room.  The idea was that this would deter the  clutter from accumulating because people would have to walk further or go around our table to place the unwanted items upon the counter.  I was sorely mistaken.  And so… here we are…

The 5 best reasons not to post everyday….plus an advent activity or two

The 5 best reasons not to post everyday….plus an advent activity or two

This post may contain affiliate links.  These links help provide an income for my family at no additional cost to you.  I only link up products that I use and support.  Thanks for supporting us!

The 5 main best reasons not to post every day are the five bests in my household aside from myself.  Although we’ve kept up on each days advent activity, it’s been too busy to blog.  When I started blogging years ago it was for fun and to share what we were doing, now that I am blogging more seriously to help support my family, I came at it with a new view.  However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed.  My first priority is my husband and my 4 children.  During a regular visit with my last pregnancy, my midwife affectionately commented…

It’s obvious that you are happy and your family, they’re you’re people….

And that is my stance still.  These are my people, they have been given to me, and they are my first priority.  So, I don’t post everyday.  When we have challenging weeks, sometimes I don’t post for that whole week.  It isn’t for a lack of things to share with you.  It’s just that I’m busy taking care of my people.  And I’m sure that you are too.

So, to catch up on our advent activities!  Because we have all been sick, we didn’t go to church last Sunday.  So, instead, to keep the kids busy, we made Chrismas ornaments using Perler beads.

Advent Activities Day 1-3; Advent Wreath, Sock Drive &  Christmas Playdough

Advent Activities Day 1-3; Advent Wreath, Sock Drive & Christmas Playdough

Okay, so we’re 3 days in to our Advent Activities and I’ve already missed two posts.  Sorry about that – but I did have a good reason!

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to us….a mixed bag of viruses and colds…

Advent is upon us – {along with a free advent printable!}

Advent is upon us – {along with a free advent printable!}

This post may contain affiliate links.  These links help provide an income for my family at no additional cost to you.  I only link up products that I use and support.  Thanks for supporting us!

One part of making my house a home is creating traditions that my family  can look forward to year to year. I want my kids to look back on the years we have together and remember just that, my mom thought of me on this day.  I want them to remember the details of the little things that counted; and I have a free advent printable to help! 

As a child, my mother made many special moments.  It wasn’t that we had large parties, or great expensive gifts, it was the little things that she did for each holiday that I remember.  She acknowledged them all; birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day.  Each special day would have a nicely decorated table, down to the themed confetti.  There was always a little something special for each of us that let us know she had been thinking of just you when she got it.  

Meal Planning 101

Meal Planning 101

The dreaded “M” word….. meal planning.  I used to be so intimidated by this small phrase.  I didn’t want my meals dictated to me.  It was overwhelming to try and figure out what I was going to eat for at least 21 meals plus all the ingredients needed.  But, now that I’ve got my own system figured out, its not so bad.  I actually enjoy meal planning because I have great recipes to choose from and I can keep our budget in check.  It helps me to feel in control of a major part of our daily lives! I’ve created a free printable to help you get started.

A little bit of love….in a mug

A little bit of love….in a mug

I love tea, and especially chai latte’s.  They have been my downfall for many a year.  By starting my trim healthy mama (THM) journey in the nice warm weather it was easy to do away with them for GGMS (Good girl moonshine – a healthy sip all day kind of cool drink).  But, with the cool weather setting in, I find myself craving that sweet foamy comfort again.

Nadine Best

I am a follower of Jesus, SAHM, THMer, and homeschooler to my 4 boys. I love to garden and am a wanna be homesteader. I also LOVE organizing.

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